I am the Curator of the Hong Kong Hub of the Global Shapers Community. This past May, I participated in the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok. I had absolutely no idea what to expect as this was not familiar territory for me.
I run my own business and have gone to numerous meetings over the years. But the Bangkok meeting was nothing less than a massive catalyst, proving to be an unexpected succession of incredible new friendships and personal realizations. I also experienced the true inclusive nature and power of the united participation of the World Economic Forum.
From the perspective of a Global Shaper, I can safely say that there are no second class citizens at the Forum – everyone is there for a genuine reason. In fact, the Shapers are coached and mentored, guided and included in the happenings of the event. The most important learning about the spirit of the Forum itself is that those who participated – no matter how good or great, powerful or wealthy – are not there as a reward or an entitlement, but because they feel a mutual responsibility to change the shape of the world.
I returned to Hong Kong with this sense of responsibility which has translated to new energy, resolve and enthusiasm in my day-to-day activities. In Hong Kong, we are fortunate to be a Global Shapers hub city so Forum participants pass through town regularly. Every interaction that I have been fortunate enough to have with an individual connected to the Forum has been extremely enjoyable and motivating.
I do ask myself therefore, what is it that has allowed the organization to develop and sustain itself over the years?
Through the Forum, politicians set aside animosity to discuss solutions with partisan neutrality and business leaders look beyond their shareholders’ interests. Moreover, it is the striking openness and symbiotic cooperative essence of each interaction that you have with people that sets the Forum apart. I don’t believe this is about the content, but about the people themselves. Somehow over the years, the Forum has created comfortable interaction between people with an unnatural level of humility and integrity that is unyielding in any situation.
Perhaps the only analogy is of a professor that has great powers to understand the minds of other people and through this has gathered a group of people with unusual abilities, often referred to as mutant abilities that would strengthen each other and work to protect the world and its people. Only in this instance, I will let you decide whether I am referring to the World Economic Forum or simply reading the inside cover of an issue of the X-Men.
Christopher Geary is the Chief Operating Officer of the Asianet Group. He is also the Curator of the Hong Kong Global Shapers Hub, the founder of the Fargo Foundation and the founder of the Hong Kong Treasure Hunt.
Photo Credit: Enrique Pardo